First World War centenary - beyond Blackadder

Posted on Tuesday 2nd August 2011

Ideas Lab's Project Director, Lucy Vernall, chats to Dr Pierre Purseigle, senior lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham, and President of the International Society for First World War Studies. With the centenary of the First World War on the horizon in 2014, Pierre talks about the ways in which Britain and the other nations involved in WWI are planning to mark the occasion.

The British public is still interested in the 'Great War', but our conception of the conflict has been shaped by its depiction in popular culture, such as Blackadder Goes Forth, which has highlighted some elements and obscured others. Pierre says that historians will be using the centenary to educate the public further, to enhance our understanding of a war that changed not just the political map of Europe, but of the entire world.